Greenpeace activists board a cargo ship entering the port of Caen, France. The ship is loaded with timber sourced from companies with links to illegal logging operations in the Amazon.
Our team in Brazil, and here in Europe, put months of
surveillance and research into the companies behind this shipment
who engage in illegal logging and ancient forest destruction. Now
we're calling them out in public, to get tougher laws against
people like them. Sixty to eighty percent of timber from the Amazon
is illegally logged - with Europe a major buyer.
Victory update (7pm local time, 18 March):
We're happy to say that the Frenchgovernment has promised to
support new European Union wide laws regulatingtimber imports.
After a 24-hour occupation, our activists have left the
ship'scranes and ended the action.
Two fast boats from our ship, the Arctic Sunrise, pulled up to
the 16,000 tonne Galina roughly five kilometres (3 miles) from
port. Five activists managed to clamber onboard before the cargo
ship's crew threw the ladder off. After reassuring the Galina's
crew about their peaceful intentions, some of the activists
occupied the ship's cranes.
The activists onboard the Galina are from the UK, Germany, Italy
and Chile. The temperature at sea is about four degrees Celsius
Illegal logging exposed
According to Greenpeace Amazon campaigner, Marcelo
Illegal logging is fuelling the destruction of the Amazon
rainforest and this in turn is driving global climate change,
harming biodiversity and communities.
What is worse is that the EU is complicit in this destruction
being the world's leading importer of Brazilian Amazonian timber.
Because the EU doesn't verify that timber comes from legal sources,
the door is left wide open for rogue companies to flood the EU
market with illegal timber.
Today's action came on the back of a new Greenpeace report,
'Future for Forests', uncovering the illegal timber trade from the
Amazon into Europe.
As well as destroying large areas of tropical forest, illegal
logging encourages land grabbing by farmers and speculators, and
fuels corruption and violence. As the loggers move on in their
search for high value timber, they leave behind a network of roads
opening up previously inaccessible parts of the rainforest. Farmers
and land grabbers move in to take advantage - burning the remaining
trees to clear the land.
Amazon and climate change
It's not just the Amazon forest at stake; it's also our shared
climate. Tropical deforestation is responsible for about one-fifth
of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than the world's entire
transport sector. Last month, the Brazilian government admitted
that the rate of deforestation is speeding up rather than slowing
Deforestation is the main source of Brazil's greenhouse gas
emissions, making it the most important contributing factor to the
country's position as the world's fourth-largest climate
In depth reading: Our new report, "A Future for Forests", about the Amazon, deforestation and the European Union.
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